St Ives 42:23 Crediton
Last Saturday in brilliant spring sunshine St Ives welcomed Devon side Crediton to Alexandra Road for their latest Western Counties West league game.
The Hakes are already confirmed as league champions and their place booked in the Cornwall Cup final. Their attention turned to ensuring that their unbeaten home record this season was maintained.
Crediton came into the match with the threat of relegation looming and looked in determined mood as they took to the field. St Ives, however, made the better start. From the referee’s whistle to get proceedings under way they made solid progress up the field and in only the 2nd minute second row Jamie Prisk crossed for the opening try of the match. No conversion, but St Ives held the early advantage. This was Prisk’s fourth try in as many games.
Crediton were undeterred and soon found their rhythm in the match. They attacked the St Ives line with determination and without some strong defensive work from the home side they would surely have scored the try that they craved. In the 5th minute they were rewarded with a penalty for their efforts which Ollie Down converted to make the score St Ives 5, Crediton 3.
The visitors kept up the pressure on the league champions and again in the 19th minute were awarded a penalty when St Ives strayed offside in front of their posts. Again Ollie Down converted the chance into points putting Crediton ahead for the first time in the match by 6 points to 5.
St Ives got back in front courtesy of a break from full back Joe Parma that Tom Nicholas finished off in the corner to put the Hakes back in front by 10 points to 6 following the missed conversion. But it was the visitors who had the last say in the first half with yet another penalty kick from the boot of Ollie Down. When the referee brought the half to an end the Crediton players must have thought themselves unlucky to be going into the break behind as they had definitely had the better of the first half.
The second half began with St Ives on the attack. In only the 4th minute after the restart full back Joe Parma scored a try to put St Ives further ahead by 17 points to 9 following, the successful conversion by Rhys Brownfield.
The next period of the match saw Crediton have their best spell. In the 47th minute Phil Holmes won the foot race following a deft little chip over the St Ives defence to score a try which Down converted. Only 4 minutes later in a move created on their training pitch Ollie Down himself raced through to score a try, which he converted, to put Crediton ahead by 23 points to 17 with 52 minutes gone.
Despite the plucky performance from the visitors the remainder of the match saw the St Ives players take control and demonstrate the abilities that have served them so well this season. In the 55th minute left wing Pete Mabbott scored an unconverted try to bring the Hakes to within one point of Crediton at 22-23.
The pressure from the home side was beginning to mount and in the 56th minute the St Ives pack demonstrated their power when from a penalty despatched into the corner the ball was claimed in the lineout and driven toward the Crediton line by a maul which allowed Rob Elloway to score the try. No conversion again but St Ives had reclaimed the lead in the match by 27 points to 23.
A penalty from the boot of Rhys Brownfield extended the St Ives lead to 30 points to 23 in the 72nd minute, but there was still more to come from the home side. In the 76th minute Pete Mabbott grabbed his second try of the match, which was converted by Brownfield to put the Hakes out of sight at 37 points to 23.
In the final play of the match with St Ives pressurising the Crediton try line once again they were awarded a penalty that Grant Thirlby tapped quickly and then threw a long pass out to the left which was gratefully received by winger Mabbott who crossed the line to score his third try of the match in only 25 minutes of play. No conversion so the referee brought the game to a close with St Ives winning the match comfortably by 42 points to 23. This hat trick from Mabbott places him just ahead of Martyn Lawrance as top try scorer, with 17 from 21 appearances.
This result sees St Ives extend their lead in the league table to 20 points over second placed St Austell. With results going against them on the day Crediton dropped into the bottom two ahead of Burnham on Sea who are already condemned to relegation.
St Ives is back in action this coming Saturday in their final away league fixture of the season to Devonport Services. Kick off in Devonport is scheduled for 3:00pm; any travelling support would be very welcome.
St Ives: Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Ben Jenkins, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Cameron Bone, Sean Stevens, Martyn Lawrance, Sam Carter, Grant Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Rhys Brownfield, Tom Nicholas, Lewis Thomas, Joe Parma.
Replacements: Leigh Hocking, Liam Jolly (Used), Harry Parton (Used).